“Black Widow”: Espionage, Action, and Witty Family Comedy

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Lukas Werner

The fight scenes, hand-to-hand combat, and high-intensity car chases were a highlight in the film.

Jasmine McIntosh, Staff Reporter

In her final movie with Marvel Studios, Scarlett Johansson puts on a stellar performance as the fascinating Black Widow that delivers an exhilarating and action-packed movie. What it lacks in some aspects of plot development, it makes up for in beautifully crafted fight scenes and hilarious conversations between Black Widow, also known as Natasha Romanoff, and her younger sister, Yelena Belova.

This movie gives fans an emotional look at Romanoff’s dark history and how she plans to confront her past with her family by her side.

Cate Shortland directed another great movie, “Black Widow,” which had been set to be released on May 1st, 2020 but was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. After this setback, the movie was released on July 8th, 2021, and has seen significant success, reaching $100 million in box office domestically after just five days. 

Johansson has portrayed the title character Black Widow since 2010. Johansson first played the mysterious and lovable Natasha Romanoff in Iron Man 2, alongside star Robert Downey Jr. who played Iron Man. Since then, she has starred in eight other Marvel movies, with “Black Widow” being the latest and the last Marvel movie she will act in. 

”I really am happy with the work I accomplished in my last decade-plus at Marvel,” Johansson said in an interview with Variety. “I feel like I’m going out on a high note with a movie I’m incredibly proud of. I feel like my work with Natasha is complete, if that is such a thing. I’ve explored many facets of her person, and feel that her choice to sacrifice her life for her best friends was one that she made actively and with resolve.” 

I have enjoyed watching Johansson in this role, and though I will be sad to see her go, I am happy with the way her career concluded and the closure we have received for Natasha. 

In short, “Black Widow” is an action-packed movie about Natasha Romanoff and her journey to reconnect with family and finally wipe the red from her ledger. In previous movies, Romanoff has mentioned that she has a dark past and dark spots left on her ledger, meaning things she has yet to confront. 

She must face her past and fight those who have vowed to destroy her.

Although “Black Widow” is an action movie, some of the best moments are between Natasha and her family. Those bits of dysfunctional family comedy make the movie feel relatable and charming. 

Many new characters were introduced in “Black Widow.” The most important one, in my opinion, was Yelena Belova, who is portrayed by Florence Pugh. She plays Natasha’s brave and witty younger sister, and I think she really stole the show. 

Seeing as this is the last movie for Johansson, Pugh will have a pivotal role in future movies and carry on the legacy of Black Widow. She has already been confirmed as part of the cast of the new “Hawkeye” TV show.

The biggest letdown was not getting to find out that much about Romanoff’s history. We do get to see some of her childhood, her enemies, etc., but we are still missing 21 important years. Much of those years were spent in the Red Room or out on missions and it would have been interesting to see more of those moments. I was also underwhelmed by parts of the dialogue; they seemed cheesy and very cliché. 

My last criticism is the portrayal of the Taskmaster. 

In the comics, Taskmaster is a male but in the movie Taskmaster is female. This isn’t the main reason why I dislike the portrayal, but I do wish it was canon to the comics. In the comics, Taskmaster is very sly and cunning and talks a lot more than he does in the movie. My main dislike is how they made Taskmaster very robotic and emotionless. The movie would have been better had Taskmaster been given more dialogue and character, especially when fighting Black Widow.

The highlights of this movie were the flashy fight scenes and high-intensity car chases. The hand-to-hand combat between Yelena and Natasha when they reunite in Budapest was incredible and one of my favorite fight scenes from the movie. 

I also enjoyed the witty dialogue. The arguments between Natasha and Yelena were hilarious and revealed things about their past. For example, Yelena really likes a vest she bought because it has lots of pockets and more importantly, it was the first piece of clothing she ever bought for herself. 

Getting to see Natasha and her family fight side by side and re-strengthen their bond towards the end of the movie was very heartwarming and it showed how Natasha had worked things out and mended relationships.

Overall, I would recommend that all Marvel fans and action movie fans alike watch Black Widow. It doesn’t give a full explanation of the mysterious past of Natasha Romanoff but it gives us some more insight and closure. The combat scenes are spectacular and will keep your eyes glued to the screen. The bond between Natasha and Yelena is very special and it’s one reason why I really enjoyed this movie. 

But don’t let me sway you too much; go out and watch the movie and decide for yourself! Black Widow is streaming on Disney+, Amazon Prime, YouTube, and other services.